I cling to things. Stubbornly. My opinions, my rights, my place in line...a silly lanyard name tag.
At the very beginning of the She Speaks conference, as I helped Glynnis prepare the appointment rooms for publishing guests, I noticed her beautiful, sparkly, beaded lanyard name tag. I pointed to it and with a grin asked "What's a girl gotta do to get one of those?" I was truly joking, however, because I knew that only P31 staff members wore those. Everyone else wore the plain black cloth lanyards. Not nearly as pretty, but it didn't matter, and I forgot all about it.
Later that morning, a fellow volunteer approached me. She had presented two publishing guests with their clip-on name tags, and they asked if they could please have lanyard name tags, instead. The lanyards don't mess with your clothes like those heavy-duty clip-ons do.
As she spoke, she lifted her lanyard name tag over her head. "I won't be able to get into the room that has the other lanyards until later this afternoon. So let's just give them ours, okay? We'll switch with them and hopefully later on we can replace the clip-ons with lanyards."
Suddenly my plain black cloth lanyard wasn't so bad. I had just tied a knot in the back of it so it hung exactly right--not all the way to my belly-button, yet not at chest level. Childish stubbornness arose in me. I don't want a crummy, clip-on name tag, either. What if it damages my blouse? I felt surprised by the indignation quickening my breath.
I immediately grabbed hold of myself in a silent reprimand and handed over my lanyard name-tag, accepting the crummy clip-on in it's place. But as I attached it to my blouse, I could feel my bottom lip extruding. Finally some maturity roused itself from the corner of my being. For Pete's sake, Julie, let it go! It's not a big deal. Seriously.
And I listened.
A few minutes later Glynnis and I ran into Wendy, the woman in charge of the lanyards. When we asked her about the spare lanyard name tags, she handed me her hotel room key, explaining I'd find them on a desk near the door. Can you guess what I found there?
Beautiful, sparkly, beaded lanyards. That I got to wear. For the entire conference.
I raced downstairs to return Wendy's key, and found Glynnis standing right next to her. I grabbed hold of my glittering, beaded lanyard and with a grin said "Glynnis, look!"
Glynnis looked at my shiny new lanyard, smiled, and said "All you had to do was give up what you had!"
It was a God moment, and a profound lesson for this sometimes stubborn Jesus girl who is learning to let go.
How about you? Is God asking you to let go of something? Is it easy for you or do you sometimes stubbornly cling like I sometimes do?
Oh Lord, when You are gently coaxing us, help us to relinquish the very thing we're holding tight. Help us to give up what we have simply because You ask. And thank you for delighting us with sweet surprises because You love us. Thank you for giving us the desires of our hearts (even sparkly, beaded lanyards). In Jesus' name, Amen.